Magazzù MX 12 Gran Sport : 100 miles on board a dream

17 mins read

Magazzù MX 12 Gran Sport Sea Trial

magazzu-mx-12-gs-popaThere are shipyards that succeed in creating unique lines from a few traits. Those are the boats that, even from a distance, you can recognize at first glance. And this is certainly the case of Cantieri Magazzù which has been manufacturing first-class beautiful boats for over 60 years.

An indisputable example of this comes from the Magazzù MX 12 Gran Sport that, with a few yet clever lines, gives an overall view that is simultaneously classic and modern. The stern of the boat is a display of planes that, embellished by round outlines, lead to the sun pad from the wonderful boarding platform, cleverly positioned just above the waterline. This area, symmetrically decorated by  two retractable bathing ladders and lit up by two led spotlights, shows how attention to detail is certainly not an optional extra for Magazzù.

The carbon T-top and the stainless steel handrail harmoniously complement the structure of the large Maxi Rib and offer the possibility to accommodate additional light sources that, with great arrangement technique, complete the well-finished overall lighting design of the boat that, at night, frames and enhances the beauty of the craft, by elevating it to extraordinary levels.


However, only few people know that Cantieri Magazzù is a real idea factory with a long tradition of innovation in the study and manufacture of high-performing hulls that has give rise to a ling series of patents that, still today, enable this shipyard to stand out in the modern boating industry landscape.

You will certainly understand how anxious we were to climb on board one of these boats that, beyond the unquestionable charm, we wanted to test at sea.

The occasion didn’t take long to come when, with the approach of the season of boat shows, the shipyard would have to bring a Magazzù MX 12 Gran Sport from the port of Genoa to Cannes Yachting Festival. The occasion was made even more interesting by the chance (for us) absence of the skipper, an absence that allowed us to manage the transfer autonomously, since the launch of the boat, after its arrival by ship at Genoa.

The following is the report of what happened.

100 miles on board the MX 12 Gran Sport

magazzu-mx-12-gran-sport-varo-The day has just dawned when we get the port of Genoa and we enter, without difficulty, in the complex mercantile world of the industrial port that, as a crossroads of an endless amount of goods, is already swarming with life.

We get the plane side of the ship and see the cradle hosting the MX 12 Grand Sport that, with its tubes deflated and covered by a protective cover, is waiting for us.

It’s a prime opportunity to study the hull. It is no often you see a twin-step hull that, originally used for the skids of seaplanes, contributes to protect the boat surface from water sprays and develop more speed thanks to lower friction on the water.

The hull of the Magazzù MX 12 Gran Sport benefits from an extensive use of kevlar, carbon and epoxy resins, combining the avantges of the step with extraordinary sturdiness. Of course, this construction is more complex and more expensive than the traditional ones but the buyer of a luxury item like this expects the most, even in terms of structural features.

The model we’re about to test is fitted with twin diesel Volvo D4 sterndrive engines, 300hp each. The overall 600 horsepower delivered by these engines represents the minimum engine power recommended for this inflatable boat that is offered in many different options, the most powerful of which consists of 1,000hp for a top speed of 60 knots.

After one hour, the launch is finally completed, our Maxi Rib touches the water and we climb on board. The tubes are totally deflated but the boat, simply leaning on the hull, is already very stable.

I activate the battery master switch, I start engines and look for the inflator. I find it immediately since it is perfectly installed in one of the cockpit compartments, already wired and without any sort of annoying “flying” electric cables to connect to the batteries. The corrugated cable is very long and reaches, without difficulty, the 6 inflating valves that guard the tube sections. I start it and, in less than 15 minutes, the boat is perfectly inflated: it’s really convenient and fast!

Rotta-Genova-CannesI re-tract all moorings and steer to leave the port. I adore diesel sterndrive engines because they are easy to handle and allow to maneuver in restricted waters very easily, even using only throttles.

We go out the port and plan our route to Cannes; we have more than 100 miles to sail, the overage level of the fuel tank is about 65% and, for safety reasons, we have to stop for fuel. The route envisages an approach to the coast in the vicinity of Andora, after about 50 miles; so, we’ll keep an eye on our consumption and will stop for fuel there.

I speed up slowly and, at about 12 knots, the Magazzù MX 12 gently starts planing while, simultaneously, I realize how particular this hull is. The twin step immediately supports the boat, by determining its trim and providing the overall movement with considerable sailing comfort.

I get back on course and I accelerate to 18/20 knots. At this speed, fluidity is great, the Maxi RIB slightly lowers its bow and seems to navigate on an air cushion. I watch the consumption indicator and I realize that we’re traveling at 23/24 knots with a fuel consumption of just 40 l/h, that is 1.7 l/nm.

-gran-sport-provaNow, it’s time to test this hull that makes me so curious. I invite my traveling companion to find a safe place to sit in and I start to perform a series of increasingly tighter turns. The MX 12 reacts brilliantly, she tilts, she holds trajectory, remaining always perfectly stable even when I accelerate strongly.

The only reactions I obtain are an increase in the boat inclination and, at the same time, a satisfied smirk on the face of Giovanna who, with tens of thousands of miles and several Atlantic crossings in her experience, is certainly not intimidated by the “bent with tubes in water” which this Maxi Rib is subject to.

Then, we get back on course and test various cruising speeds and, in the end, we opt for a speed of about 32-32 knots. At this speed, the sense of safety is total and we feel like we’re traveling at 10 knots less. The protection against wind offered by the console (and its windshield) is remarkable and we have to sit on rear seats to realize how fast we are sailing.

Consumption confirms, better than anything else, the quality of waterlines that enable us to move at 60 l/h, about 2 l/nm. An extraordinary performance for any boat, not only for a sporty one like this.

The sea is almost flat/smooth, which is the ideal condition to test the top speed. So, I push throttles down, I adjust the trim and the GPS marks 45.1 knots that, considering that we are on board a boat fitted with the mininum engine power option available, confirm the sporty soul of this boat.

gran-sport-navigazione-2Miles go fast at this speed and the twin Volvo D4 engines show no signs of fatigue, temperature and fuel consumption remain stable and, in such a smooth sea, we enter the port of Andora for fuel.

Entering a marina with the Magazzù MX 12 Gran Sport is a very particular experience, it’s like arriving in a square with a Ferrari: you can’t go unnoticed. All eyes are on the particular refined lines of this boat that provokes admiration at the very first glance.

At the filling station, it’s our turn, so we come alongside the pier and take less than 200 liters of fuel. This way, both fuel tanks reach 98%, confirming the overage consumption previously assumed.

At the filling station, it’s our turn, so we come alongside the pier and take less than 200 liters of fuel. This way, both fuel tanks reach 98%, confirming the overage consumption previously assumed.

Acceleration is inebriating, the two diesel engines are great and, within just 10 seconds, we reach 30 knots; in 16 seconds, we touch 40 knots! I can just imagine what it would be to push throttles down with 50% more power: an unforgettable experience, I’m sure.

We get back on course and stabilize speed at about 33-34 knots; at 2,900 rpm, the sea  is very flat and sailing this way is spectacular. While we approach to Cannes, the traffic of yachts headed for the boat show is heavy; in short, we are all sailing towards the same destination.


So (it is inevitable) the first lateral waves come. It’s a play we can’t miss. We slow down at 27-28 knots and start to cross the wakes of the other boats. The Magazzù MX 12 Gran Sport merely realizes that and cuts through waves without shocks or deceleration.

Then, we spot a superyachtsailing to Cannes at 16-18 knots; presumably, it is almost 40 meters long and its passage provokes a very high and steep wave. I enter, with no hesitation, its wake in order to jump the “easy” side of the water mountain, from inside to outside.

We are very close to the wave and, only at the last second, I realize its real dimensions. What we are confronted with is a “ramp” of one meter and half in height; I am about to cross it at 25 knots, I feel my hands clinging to the helm in preparation for the impact, an impact that, however, never comes.

The Magazzù enters the wave and rises without shocks; of course, we jump (and much) but we touch down with no shocks. The hull of the MX 12 touches the water with extreme softness and ease. I accelerate and we quickly overcome the yacht, I turn around to ask Giovanna if she has enjoyed it but she looks at me and seems to ask: “that’s all?”.

magazzu-mx-12-gran-sport-prova-2I smile and turn around the large yacht, we enter the wake from the steep side of the wave and jump again; the boat, again, remains imperturbable. We touch down, turn again and accelerate to 30 knots, again inside the wake of the superyacht and, at less than 20 meters from its stern, we face, without slowing down, the huge wave. The Magazzù MX 12 jumps and, this time, we raise really a lot, then we touch down and, sure, this time we have perceived the impact with water but it was soft and progressive, the level of comfort and safety offered by this boat is undoubtedly high.

By curbing our instincts, we get back on course, we’re getting close to our destination. Giovanna and me, we have split the helm several times during these 100 miles, for pure pleasure and not by need. Steering this Maxi Rib doesn’t make you feel tired, the drive is relaxing and time goes fast, you hardly even notice that.

One mile from  the port, we find a rush of yachts waiting to be docked at the quays of the Cannes Yachting Festival. We advance slowly and enter the welcoming arms of Vieux Port while, again, we witness the spectacle that the beauty of this boat provokes all around.

Faces that turn, arms that rise and point at us; even operators can’t resist the charm of our Magazzù that, in her white livery, gets her berth elegantly and stops.

We turn around for a final look before leaving the berth on foot. She is there, beautiful, ready to welcome all the visitors that, from tomorrow, will crowd the jetties of this extraordinary boat show. Visitors that – it is not difficult to predict it – will be inevitably attracted by her refined beauty.

Test Conditions: smooth/almost flat sea, no wind, two passengers on board. 70% water capacity; 95% fuel capacity ,

Cantieri Magazzù
via Parrini, 17 – Palermo